Being all book lovers, most of us add a sweet spot for Belle because she also loved reading so much, well this rendition by Laurie London is more about The Beast =)
A chat with Alfonso and Beast
You all know Beast, from Beauty and the Beast. Alfonso Serrano is the hero of Embraced By Blood, book 2 in the Sweetblood series, written by me, Laurie London.
Alfonso Serrano had seen some strange things in his long life, but this had to be one of the strangest.
A moment ago, when he’d knocked on the ornately carved door of the castle, it was answered not by a butler or a maid, but by furniture and housewares that walked and talked.
Alfonso knew the owner was a Beast and that the place was rumored to be enchanted, but he hadn’t been prepared for this.
“Forgive them for staring, sir,” the clock said, referring to a teapot, a candlestick and a broom standing in the foyer next to a massive staircase. “It’s just that none of us has met a real vampire before.”
“He looks so…manly,” whispered the teacup to the broom.
“And handsome,” said the broom. “Did you see those eyes?”
“I wasn’t looking at his eyes,” said the teacup.
He hid a smile and pretended not to hear them as he surveyed his surroundings. This place definitely looked promising.
When he’d learned the Beast was selling salvage items from one of the crumbling towers, he decided to check it out. Alfonso was building a replica of his parents’ estate, the original having been constructed around the same time as Beast’s castle, and he’d been having a hard time finding just the right materials. Maybe there were some stone tiles or fireplace mantels or even some furniture—the unanimated kind—that would suit his purposes.
“Right this way, sir,” the clock said. “The master will see you in the Black Tower.”
Alfonso tried not to grimace as he followed the clock down a long hallway that seemed to stretch forever. His leg was really bothering him today. Several months ago, he’d been badly injured in a fire and the knee joint hadn’t regenerated correctly.
A loud crash sounded from somewhere within the castle. “But I must warn you,” the clock said, “he’s in a foul mood this evening.”
“Why is that?”
“Let’s just say it’s about a woman.”
The Beast was leaning over a desk when they entered the tower room a few minutes later. He glared at them with dark, fiery eyes and looked as though he were ready to kill something. Fangs hung from his mouth like daggers and his large paws clutched the edge of the desk. The clock quickly left the room, shutting the door behind him.
“Take anything you want,” the Beast growled, sweeping his arm wide. “I have no need for material things any longer.”
Alfonso glanced around large room and was drawn to the fireplace. He approached it for a closer look and ran his hands over the aged wooden mantelpiece. It reminded him of the one from his parents’ sitting room. Yes, this might work.
“Why are you looking for decrepit items from a crumbling old castle?” Beast asked. “Do vampires like to surround themselves with misery and decay?”
“Not necessarily.” Alfonso then explained what he was doing.
The Beast tilted his head, a curious expression on his hairy face. “So you’re building the estate as a way to honor your parents’ memory, to atone for mistakes you made in the past?”
“Yeah, I’d say that was an accurate assessment.” Alfonso suddenly wanted to know more about this Beast. “I hear you’re upset about a woman.”
“Yes, I, too, have made mistakes. I imprisoned a beautiful woman here in the hopes that I could make her love me. But I am a beast—on the outside and on the inside. When I finally realized that she could never love someone like me, that I’d never be what she deserved, I decided to let her go.”
Alfonso sighed and adjusted his knit cap. “Believe me, I can relate to that. I know firsthand about loving a woman when you know you’re not good enough. When what’s inside you is so…beastly…that you know in your heart she deserves a better life than the one you could give her.”
Letting Lily go was the hardest thing Alfonso had ever done. But he didn’t have a choice. Not if he really loved her. Given that a Darkblood assassin from the Order of the Red Sword was hunting him, it was too dangerous for her to be around him. And with his disfigurement and physical limitations now, he’d never be able to adequately protect her and her daughter.
Later, after the mantel had been removed and carried out, Alfonso turned back to the Beast who’d been quietly watching the proceedings.
“We’re kindred spirits, Beast,” Alfonso said, holding out his hand. Beast clasped it with a large hairy paw. “We both fell in love with women who deserved more than us.”
“Yes, we sure did.”
Alfonso let go of Beast’s paw and walked to the door. “I hope you can find happiness someday, because I’m sure I never will.”
Deep within the forests of the Pacific Northwest, two vampire coalitions battle for supremacy—Guardian enforcers who safeguard humanity and Darkblood rogues who kill like their ancient ancestors.
Alfonso Serrano is a hunted man. For months he’s managed to elude the Darkbloods, vengeful foes who won’t rest until he’s dead. But he still craves one dangerous temptation: Lily DeGraff, the sexy Guardian agent he’ll risk anything to protect.
Lily is a wanted woman. Her talent for tracking Sweet-a rare blood type that’s addictive to vampires-makes her a prime target for enemy capture. Her only hope is the stealthy vampire operative who stole into her bed...then left her in despair. Danger aside-Lily won’t let Alfonso near her heart again-until an irresistible hunger draws them back together...and into an assassin’s snare.
Laurie would like to offer one of you a copy of her book!
This giveaway is open US & Canada only
To enter, just leave a comment letting me know if you’ve read the first book in the series, Bounded by Blood.
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Ends September 7th, 2011.
A graduate of Western Washington University with a BA in Business Administration and a former tester/programmer for a Fortune 500 company, Laurie London now writes from her home near Seattle where she lives with her husband and two children.
Her debut book, BONDED BY BLOOD, A Sweetblood Novel came out February 2011 from HQN. EMBRACED BY BLOOD, the second book in the series, released July 2011.
Her writing has won and been a finalist in several prestigious contests including the Beacon, the Emerald City Opener, the Marlene, and the Orange Rose.
When not writing, she can be found running, reading, or riding and showing her horse. Someday she hopes to qualify for the Quarter Horse World Show – that is, if her horse doesn’t get hurt again.
More books by Laurie London